At least that was one headline after Auburn’s last minute victory over Alabama this weekend. “Shocking! Stunning!” announcers declared! One news story showed a befuddled Alabama fan both hands on his head and mouth wide open in disbelief. In case you missed it- Alabama attempted a 56-yard field goal in the final second of the game to determine who advanced to the SEC championship game. The kick was short, landing in the arms of a waiting Auburn player who ran the ball back a whopping 109 yards to win the game. And the…crowd…went…NUTS!
Three thoughts have captured me since seeing that play:
He was in a position to receive– #11, Chris Davis wasn’t there by accident. In practice you prepare for every contingency. When the opposing team is attempting a long field goal, you position a player in the end zone in case the kick is short. But here’s the thing- Davis could have let the ball go. The game would’ve gone into overtime. But when you’re a football player and a football lands in your hands, instinct and training kicks in!
He had the passion to run – On the replays you see Davis ran, hard and fast! From the moment he leaves the end zone, you just feel he’s going to make it all the way. (Heck I was rooting for him and I’m not an Auburn fan!)He had the goal in his mind’s eye before he could ever see it and he was running towards it from the top of his head to the bottom of his toes! He knew what was at stake!
He had the protection to score– Just because you take an opportunity and run with it doesn’t mean you won’t encounter opposition. Plenty of players tried to keep Davis from scoring but you hear the announcer shout, “He’s got a block… and another block!” In a July 29, 2013 interview, cornerback Jonathan Mincy said of Davis, “A lot of guys respect him. He’s a hard worker as well. That’s something you can look at and say ‘I’ll go to war with him any day’.”
For two years Davis fought injury; his shoulder in 2011 and a severe concussion in 2012. But like his performance at the Iron Bowl, he didn’t let anything stop him.
- Are you in position to receive an opportunity that can lead to a miracle?
- Do you have the passion to run it all the way down the field?
- Who’s got your back? Who would ‘go to war’ with you any day?